What happens to an over-achiever that is not achieving? They aren’t under-achieving or just meeting expectations. They just aren’t achieving.
What happens is they start to lose IT.
All of IT.
No matter the past accomplishments and victories, whatever is being un-achieved dwarfs them in comparison, shrinking their importance. They don’t seem so great or as impressive as they use to be. The shine has been dulled and tarnished, shadowed by the non-achieved looming before the OA.
It is heart-wrenching. Utterly devastating. Completely stagnant. Totally me.
Right now, I am on a paper that is being submitted to one of the most prestigious scienctific journals. I’ve been working on this project for almost 3yrs now. I’m 4th author out of about 20. It’s huge! The OA in me would be a bit smug and excited that so much work and effort has finally paid off, Big Time!
Instead, I would trade it all in, without batting an eyelash, to be pregnant right now. I would hand over my graduate degree, my position of importance and authority in the lab, my fairly decent paycheck, and 4th author status on a ground-breaking paper/project for a baby. Not a moment of hesitation.
OA’s don’t do that! The point of over-achieving is to prove your worth, to get you where you want to be, to prove that you can do things and do them freaking well! Being recognized for a job well-done is the whole reason I over-achieve! I don’t work my butt of for things just to turn around and drop them.
It is a bit strange to think about it this way, but I have put far more effort into making (and keeping) a potential baby than I have into probably anything else in my entire adult life (save my marriage- constant effort that is well worth it). I’ve put loads of time into it. Researching. Reading. Practicing. I’ve invested large amounts of money into it. Doctor appts. Medications, vitamins, supplements. Opks and hpts. And yet, no matter how much time, money or effort I put into the baby equation, I don’t get the correct answer, the desired outcome.
With the input I’ve given to this whole “creating life” project, I would be expecting something like triplets to be the end product if I were to compare it to completely unrelated past experiences. Instead, I have negative product. Debt. Wasted time (can’t get back those hours I spent looking for positions/vitamins/chants/crystals to increase my chances of pregnancy). Loss.
I haven’t achieved. Nor have I under-achieved. I’ve just made no real, tangible progress. That is a hard pill to swallow for me- and that’s saying something given the number of medications I’m ingesting on a daily basis at this point. I can’t say I’m failing, because I’m not. One doesn’t fail if they are trying their best and making the effort. I’m just un-succeeding. Un-achieving. Un-pregnant. Feeling more and more Un-me.